Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Son Mountain 2 [a Cold Mountain Transcreation]

When the birdsong and play overwhelm
I rest inside my thatched straw hut—
cherry blossoms flicker in crimson,
shoots of willows fall into lace,
morning sun is swallowed by blue peaks,
afternoon clouds wash out in a clear green pond.
Who thinks to leave the dust of the world
ascending South Face of Cold Mountain?

(from the translations of RP-133, RH-130, GS-13, BW-39)



When I can’t bear to watch birds play
I lie inside my thatched hut
the cherry trees are bright pink
the willows beginning to sway
the rising sun swallows blue peaks
clearing clouds wash a green pool
who thinks of leaving the dusty rut
and heading South for Cold Mountain


The birds chat and converse—feelings I can't really bear;
At times like these, I lie down in my straw hut.

Cherries, in reds that sparkle and glisten;
Willows so straight—branches like hair hanging down.

Morning sun—swallowed up by green peaks;
White, puffy clouds—washed clean in clear mountain lakes.

Who there knows to leave the dust and the vulgar,
And drive up the South face of Han-shan?


I can't stand these bird songs
Now I'll go rest in my straw shack.
The cherry flowers are scarlet
The willow shoots up feathery.
Morning sun drives over blue peaks
Bright clouds wash green ponds.
Who knows that I'm out of the dusty world
Climbing the southern slope of Cold Mountain?


The birds and their chatter overwhelm me with feeling:
At times like this I lie down in my straw hut.
Cherries shine with crimson fire;
Willows trail slender boughs.
The morning sun pops from the jaws of blue peaks;
Bright clouds are washed in the green pond.
Who ever thought I would leave the dusty world
And come bounding up the southern slope of Cold Mountain?

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